Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday Dinner At The Flagship

above 1971 ad

In the 1970s Delmar people might have had Sunday dinner at the Flagship in Seaford Delaware.  The restaurant was originally the "McKeever Brothers." and was built in 1911 in Noank, Conn.  She was 130' long and 22' wide and had served as a menhaden fishing boat out of Lewes Delaware.  Originally owned by Steven W. McKeever and Edward J McKeever the ship was acquired by the Navy in WW1 and made into a mine sweeper.  After the war she went back to fishing.  About 1967 the Menhaden fishing fleet decided to get rid of the wooden fishing boats and offered to give them away.  Six businessmen in Seaford took the 'Mckeever Bros. and had it towed up the Nanticoke to the bridge across RT13. there they converted the ship to a restaurant. 

The restaurant opened to the public in 1969 and had a good business up until the late 1990s.  I am sure there were fans of the restaurant that truly loved it but for the most part it was a novelty restaurant - it fell into the same category of coffee shops shaped like Coffee pots in the 1930s.  You had to eat there at least once and take a friend later.

The ship arrives in Seaford

The restaurant had a number of nooks and crannies - the dinning rooms were called the "Engine Room", "Fish Hold", and the "Golden Anchor Room".  Up top in what was called the "Wheel House" was a small bar, everything in the Wheel house was on a slight slant so after a few drinks you didn't know if you were tilting from the drinks or the wheel house.  The eating area was cramped since the original ship was a little over 20 ft wide by the time you add in salad bar, lounge area, etc there wasn't much area left.  Plus for all the decorating you felt like you were eating in a ship's hull. 

They added a square shape building attached to the ship to try and overcome the disadvantage of the ship.  The addition was popular with social and professional groups having their monthly meetings.  I may have ate there more when attending meetings then as an individual customer.  When it opened the food was about $7 per dinner.   When it was auctioned off in 1981 it was advertised a having a seating capacity of 265

Gutted in a fire in 1977 it was rebuilt, sold at auction in 1981, and over the years it has had multiple owners.  I think the last owner was Miguel Quecada who acquired it in 2000 and named it the Nautico. Today it sit rotting by the highway.

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